Renée Zellweger: I Can Empathize With Britney

10/26/2007 at 05:40 PM EDT

Renée Zellweger: I Can Empathize With Britney
Reneé Zellweger
Lester Cohen/WireImage
Renée Zellweger, who fled Los Angeles because of the paparazzi, says she sees how celebrities such as Britney Spears can buckle under the pressure.

"What people don't understand is that [the photographers] didn't just run into Britney that day," she tells Extra. "It's like having someone jump on your back in the morning and stay with you until you go to bed at night. And even then, hovering over your pillow and taking photographs. ... I defy anyone to try to keep it all together all the time under those circumstances."

The Oscar winner, who voices a main character in the new Bee Movie, told Reader's Digest in its latest issue that she left L.A. for New York to escape that kind of harassment. She elaborates further in the Extra interview.

"There's the biological element that you don't consider," Zellweger, 38, says. "Being hunted. Literally hunted. And they don't follow the rules just because the light's red. And they won't stop."

Zellweger hit her own breaking point, and took refuge in New York City and Connecticut. "Rather than live it and not be content, I'll just go," she decided. "And if it comes here, I'll just keep going."

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